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Saints hit back at Reds
Ninth win in 11 games for interim coaching partnership
St Helens battled back from a 10-0 first-half deficit before scoring three late tries and running out 32-10 winners at Salford.
Saints have now lost just two of 11 league matches under caretaker coaches Mike Rush and Keiron Cunningham, both to leaders Wigan, and have their sights set firmly on a seventh consecutive Grand Final appearance.
St Helens were without prop Josh Perry but they had all nine players involved in last Saturday's internationals and two of them, Lance Hohaia and Jonny Lomax, especially caught the eye.
Yet Salford dominated the first half, highlighted by touches of class from stand-off Daniel Holdsworth in particular, and they deserved their 10-6 half-time lead.
Hohaia breached the Salford line midway through the first half but referee James Child had spotted an obstruction and it was the Reds who opened the scoring three minutes later.
Inevitably, Holdsworth was at the heart of the move as he supplied the final pass for former St Helens back rower Vinnie Anderson to go past Paul Wellens for a try, to which Holdsworth added the conversion.
Hohaia had another try disallowed, this time for a knock-on, before Salford stretched their lead through Danny Williams.
The former Newcastle Falcons winger, who this week signed a new two-year contract, produced a superb finish after Salford ran the ball on the last tackle and Chris Nero cleverly drew the Saints defence out of position.
St Helens hauled themselves back into the game just before the break when centre Josh Jones collected Hohaia's towering kick to touch down and Tom Makinson added the goal to cut the gap to four points.
It was all square two minutes into the second half when Hohaia went over from dummy half for Saints' second try and the visitors went in front for the first time on 53 minutes when Jon Wilkin's kick hung in the wind and enabled centre Michael Shenton to get Makinson over at the corner.
Makinson was unable to master the wind with either of his latest conversion attempts but, at 14-10, the momentum was firmly with the visitors.
The Reds continued to look lively but they suffered a blow when tough-tackling forward Shannon McPherson hobbled off on 65 minutes and there was no way back for them when Wellens tapped the ball back from Wilkin's high kick for Lomax to touch down.
Saints then made sure with two further tries through Shenton, who followed up his own grubber kick, and Wellens, with substitute Lee Gaskell kicking three conversions.
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First Utility Super League Table
|10||Hull K R||2||0|
|12||Salford Red Devils||2||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Friday 27th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Castleford Tigers|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:00||Catalans Dragons vs Warrington Wolves|
|19:30||Salford Red Devils vs Hull FC|
|Sunday 1st March|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Wigan Warriors|
|15:00||Widnes Vikings vs Wakefield Wildcats|
|Thursday 5th March|
|20:00||Hull FC vs Leeds Rhinos|
|Friday 6th March|
|20:00||Wakefield vs St Helens|
|20:00||Huddersfield Giants vs Widnes Vikings|
|20:00||Castleford Tigers vs Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:30||Catalans Dragons vs Salford Red Devils|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 26th February|
|Leeds Rhinos 28 - 24 Huddersfield Giants|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wakefield 44 - 24 Hull K R|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Catalans Dragons 13 - 12 Castleford|
|Friday 13th February|
|Hull 6 - 7 Warrington|
|Leeds 38 - 6 Widnes|
|Wigan 24 - 16 Huddersfield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|Salford 6 - 52 St Helens|
|Sunday 8th February|
|Castleford 22 - 24 Wakefield|
|Huddersfield 0 - 19 Hull|
|Hull K R 30 - 40 Leeds|
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